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Though there have been signs that the economy is slowly stumbling toward recovery, single-family housing demand and construction starts continue to struggle. Tight lending standards, combined with consumer skepticism toward the “American Dream” of homeownership, results in the obvious: Though development is increasing somewhat, we won't soon see a plethora of for-sale homes sprouting out of vacant lots as we did during the mid-2000s.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, housing starts in 2011 totaled 609,000 units, versus the 1.3 million units recorded in 2007. NAHB found that there was also a decline in new home sales between 2007 and 2011—776,000 homes were sold nationwide in 2007, but that figure dropped to 305,000 in 2011.

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